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Old 23rd February 2021, 02:23 PM   #1
Emily's Cat
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Congress taking on 1st Am by proxy

Instead of directly infringing on free speech and freedom of the press, congress has taken the creative approach of putting pressure on the services that allow those platforms to be communicated.

We've already seen congress putting pressure on social media platforms, resulting in companies like Facebook and Twitter intervening to curb speech that congress considered problematic. We've seen topics treated as "banned topics" for private individuals to discuss on those platforms (the Biden story in the NY Post that was forcible suppressed and removed from social media prior to the election).

We're seeing beliefs and ideologies cast as extremist and seeing them weeded out of hosting services - Parler being a prime example.

Now we've got congress directly challenging cable and television companies for airing Fox News and other right-wing news outlets. The letters used to broach this topic seem to strongly suggest an attempt by congress to infringe on the freedom of the press by using pressure on intermediaries.

Read the letters from Eshoo and McNerny yourselves... and discuss.
https://eshoo.house.gov/sites/eshoo....rs-2.22.21.pdf

What are your thoughts on this with respect to freedom of the press and freedom of speech?
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Old 23rd February 2021, 02:45 PM   #2
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If members of congress asked these questions and then penalized service providers whose answers they disliked, then I would likely see that as an infringement.

But I don't see reason to believe that to be the case, and I'm fairly sure there wouldn't be a legal meahcnism to do so.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 02:49 PM   #3
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It’s a complicated issue.

There’s a public interest in making sure that social media companies aren’t be used to back door campaign finance laws. There’s also a public interest to make sure foreign entities aren’t using social media to interfere in American elections. There’s also a public interest in making sure political campaigns aren’t using foreign entities to funnel money into their campaigns through social media. It’s also a public interest to make sure that media outlets are as responsible about spreading information on social media as they would be in other forms of media.

And all that needs to be balanced out with people’s individual constitutional rights.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:11 PM   #4
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I don't know Emily's Cat's position on Covid-19 being a hoax or how one should ignore medical advice and instead take quack remedies, so I'm curious if social media attempting to curb the spread of those falsehoods bothers Emily's Cat as much as social media attempting to curb the spread of political falsehoods.

Last edited by wareyin; 23rd February 2021 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Me no grammar good
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
It’s a complicated issue.

There’s a public interest in making sure that social media companies aren’t be used to back door campaign finance laws. There’s also a public interest to make sure foreign entities aren’t using social media to interfere in American elections. There’s also a public interest in making sure political campaigns aren’t using foreign entities to funnel money into their campaigns through social media. It’s also a public interest to make sure that media outlets are as responsible about spreading information on social media as they would be in other forms of media.

And all that needs to be balanced out with people’s individual constitutional rights.
The letters are not to- or regarding- "social" media.
They are directed to purveyors of "traditional" media.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:08 PM   #6
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From the OP it sounds like the entirety of Congress has taken a position on something. I find that hard to believe.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Instead of directly infringing on free speech and freedom of the press, congress has taken the creative approach of putting pressure on the services that allow those platforms to be communicated.

We've already seen congress putting pressure on social media platforms, resulting in companies like Facebook and Twitter intervening to curb speech that congress considered problematic. We've seen topics treated as "banned topics" for private individuals to discuss on those platforms (the Biden story in the NY Post that was forcible suppressed and removed from social media prior to the election).

We're seeing beliefs and ideologies cast as extremist and seeing them weeded out of hosting services - Parler being a prime example.

Now we've got congress directly challenging cable and television companies for airing Fox News and other right-wing news outlets. The letters used to broach this topic seem to strongly suggest an attempt by congress to infringe on the freedom of the press by using pressure on intermediaries.

Read the letters from Eshoo and McNerny yourselves... and discuss.
https://eshoo.house.gov/sites/eshoo....rs-2.22.21.pdf

What are your thoughts on this with respect to freedom of the press and freedom of speech?
I find the letters rather disturbing, but I'm not sure I would take them seriously. It definitely bears watching. I'm a big fan of freedom of the press, and while making inquiries like the ones in those letters does not actual impinge on press freedom, it sure seems like they are testing the waters on it.


I do think there is some sort of legitimate issue here where it is in the best interests of the country to end, somehow, the fragmentation of news into "right wing" and "left wing" sources, with most people picking one or the other, based on preconceived notions and thus not getting accurate news. I just don't know what to do about it. I would be at least open to the possibility of some 21st century version of a "fairness doctrine", but I definitely do not believe in shutting down unfriendly news sources, even if they really are biased.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
The letters are not to- or regarding- "social" media.
They are directed to purveyors of "traditional" media.
social media is a bulk of the OP

Last edited by dirtywick; 23rd February 2021 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I do think there is some sort of legitimate issue here where it is in the best interests of the country to end, somehow, the fragmentation of news into "right wing" and "left wing" sources, with most people picking one or the other, based on preconceived notions and thus not getting accurate news. I just don't know what to do about it. I would be at least open to the possibility of some 21st century version of a "fairness doctrine", but I definitely do not believe in shutting down unfriendly news sources, even if they really are biased.
I don't think it's as much a "right" and "left" issue as it is a news and fact issue.

I think having a slant, bias, or to target specific demographics with stories and commentary of interest is fine, even healthy. There's nothing wrong with finding people that share your particular views and presenting events in a way that's relatable to that audience.

Being an "entertainment" outlet, calling yourself news, and reporting deliberate lies as news and then calling it "entertainment" when it's time to be accountable, I find that less healthy. Irresponsible in fact.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 04:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
I don't know Emily's Cat's position on Covid-19 being a hoax or how one should ignore medical advice and instead take quack remedies, so I'm curious if social media attempting to curb the spread of those falsehoods bothers Emily's Cat as much as social media attempting to curb the spread of political falsehoods.

The right to lie is extremely important, in particular the right to lie about pandemics. The attempt to suppress lies is how Nazi Germany got started. We all know that Nazis first and foremost were staunch opponents of lying and came down hard on all liars. Lies want to be free!
You know that Hitler rounded up all liars and placed them in concentration camps, which is why we all need to stand up for the right to lie: 'First they came for the liars, but I was not a liar ...' and so on.
Remember Ben Franklin: Freedom of lying is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.
It's the reason why conservatives are the only true freedom fighters. They are the only ones who treasure lying above everything else. Lying is an inalienable right.
I bet the freedom to lie is in the Constitution somewhere.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 05:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
We all know that Nazis first and foremost were staunch opponents of lying and came down hard on all liars. Lies want to be free!
You know that Hitler rounded up all liars and placed them in concentration camps, which is why we all need to stand up for the right to lie
That's right,
Quote:
A big lie (German: große Lüge; often the big lie) is a propaganda technique used for political purpose, defined as "a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the facts, especially when used as a propaganda device by a politician or official body". The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, to describe the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". Hitler believed the technique was used by Jews to blame Germany's loss in World War I on German general Erich Ludendorff
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Old 23rd February 2021, 05:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Now we've got congress directly challenging cable and television companies for airing Fox News and other right-wing news outlets. The letters used to broach this topic seem to strongly suggest an attempt by congress to infringe on the freedom of the press by using pressure on intermediaries.

Read the letters from Eshoo and McNerny yourselves... and discuss.
https://eshoo.house.gov/sites/eshoo....rs-2.22.21.pdf
Oh come on! They're Just Asking Questions.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 10:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
I don't think it's as much a "right" and "left" issue as it is a news and fact issue.

I think having a slant, bias, or to target specific demographics with stories and commentary of interest is fine, even healthy. There's nothing wrong with finding people that share your particular views and presenting events in a way that's relatable to that audience.

Being an "entertainment" outlet, calling yourself news, and reporting deliberate lies as news and then calling it "entertainment" when it's time to be accountable, I find that less healthy. Irresponsible in fact.
Along my thought lines. In media, there should be an equivalent to a law that proscribes yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. A slickly produced, published packet of 'information is, or should be thought of, as rather more consequential than some individual barking atop a soapbox in the town square.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 11:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
I don't think it's as much a "right" and "left" issue as it is a news and fact issue.

I think having a slant, bias, or to target specific demographics with stories and commentary of interest is fine, even healthy. There's nothing wrong with finding people that share your particular views and presenting events in a way that's relatable to that audience.

Being an "entertainment" outlet, calling yourself news, and reporting deliberate lies as news and then calling it "entertainment" when it's time to be accountable, I find that less healthy. Irresponsible in fact.
Yup. I don't see why they should be held to less stringent standards than advertising. You can't lie in an ad and then call it "entertainment" (or "your first amendment right", for that matter).
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Old 23rd February 2021, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Congress taking on 1st Am by proxy
No...
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Old 24th February 2021, 01:47 AM   #16
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Speech/actions seeking to frontally contradict and dismiss the exact same principles underlying the political rights used to express them are either completely irrational, or are a transparent attempt to intentionally deny/limit those rights for others and destroy good faith in fair governance. Similarly, the knowing, intentional, repeated and never-amended propagation of demonstrable falsehood in service of sectarianism is contradictory to proper governance of any system purporting to protect political liberties.

Slander, libel, incitement, and baseless propaganda are either illegal or illicit, and are being properly restricted by social media. So that, you know, no more Trumpies drinking bleach, that sort of thing. The Right should be thankful at least someone is up to and on the job of keeping civilization intact. Can't all devolve into stone-axe savages.
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Old 24th February 2021, 01:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Politico: Cruz said his wife “actually was over to a neighbor’s house yesterday, sort of walking through” the messages. “We’ve got a number of Republicans who are neighbors, but we also have a number of Democrats,” he said.

There were even some “folks on our street who put up Beto signs, which I thought was a little rude,” Cruz said, referring to his 2018 reelection race against former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
The GOP will attempt to smear and taint free and fair elections at every turn. Why? They do not result in Whites-only lavatories, jobs, wealth, fronts of buses, and so on. The above extols elections, but its intent is clear: denial of the legitimacy thereof.
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Old 24th February 2021, 02:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post

It was a disgrace how they treated that great guy. A witch-hunt! But that's cancel culture for ya.
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Old 24th February 2021, 02:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Instead of directly infringing on free speech and freedom of the press, congress has taken the creative approach of putting pressure on the services that allow those platforms to be communicated.

We've already seen congress putting pressure on social media platforms, resulting in companies like Facebook and Twitter intervening to curb speech that congress considered problematic. We've seen topics treated as "banned topics" for private individuals to discuss on those platforms (the Biden story in the NY Post that was forcible suppressed and removed from social media prior to the election).

We're seeing beliefs and ideologies cast as extremist and seeing them weeded out of hosting services - Parler being a prime example.

Now we've got congress directly challenging cable and television companies for airing Fox News and other right-wing news outlets. The letters used to broach this topic seem to strongly suggest an attempt by congress to infringe on the freedom of the press by using pressure on intermediaries.

Read the letters from Eshoo and McNerny yourselves... and discuss.
https://eshoo.house.gov/sites/eshoo....rs-2.22.21.pdf

What are your thoughts on this with respect to freedom of the press and freedom of speech?
Bah, more ill-informed, misinformation and utter bollocks about "The First Amendment"

When are people going to learn that THE FIRST AMENDMENT ONLY APPLIES TO THE GOVERNMENT!! It does not apply to privately owned content platforms or the media. They are entitled to choose what and who they host on their platforms, and what and who they do not host.

Facebook, Google, Twitter etc, have not banned or restricted certain speech from their platforms due to pressure from governments, they have banned or restricted such speech due to pressure from their own users. The bottom line for these companies is their bottom line. If they feel they have more to lose by allowing certain things to appear on their platform rather than ban it, they WILL ban it!
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Old 24th February 2021, 05:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Bah, more ill-informed, misinformation and utter bollocks about "The First Amendment"

When are people going to learn that THE FIRST AMENDMENT ONLY APPLIES TO THE GOVERNMENT!! It does not apply to privately owned content platforms or the media. They are entitled to choose what and who they host on their platforms, and what and who they do not host.

Facebook, Google, Twitter etc, have not banned or restricted certain speech from their platforms due to pressure from governments, they have banned or restricted such speech due to pressure from their own users. The bottom line for these companies is their bottom line. If they feel they have more to lose by allowing certain things to appear on their platform rather than ban it, they WILL ban it!

To be fair, it looks like at least in this case that we are talking about members of the House of Representatives wanting to know how certain media prevent misinformation appearing on their networks.

There are a number of letters that the OP has linked to. I haven't read them, so I don't know exactly what they contain. It seems that in theory this could at least look like members of the US legislative branch applying some kind of pressure on the free press.

Admittedly, this point is buried by the OP among a number of other tangential points that she presumably feels are part of a growing trend.
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Old 24th February 2021, 05:41 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Being an "entertainment" outlet, calling yourself news, and reporting deliberate lies as news and then calling it "entertainment" when it's time to be accountable, I find that less healthy. Irresponsible in fact.
You might have to be more specific on this one. There is a common misconception that organizations like FOX news must classify themselves in some way with some official body as "news" vs "entertainment" and that this affects their legal exposure. I'm pretty sure that is not the case at all.
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Old 24th February 2021, 06:05 AM   #22
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Actually it's the legacy media which is pushing this on Congress; Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece on the phenomenon here:

Quote:
I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.
Glenn highlights one particular example that I remember reading in disgust:

Quote:
But the worst of this triumvirate is the NYT’s tech reporters, due to influence and reach if no other reason. When Silicon Valley monopolies, publicly pressured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other lawmakers, united to remove Parler from the internet, the Times’ tech team quickly donned their hall-monitor goggles and Stasi notebooks to warn that the Bad People had migrated to Signal and Telegram. This week they asked: “Are Private Messaging Apps the Next Misinformation Hot Spot?” One reporter “confess[ed] that I am worried about Telegram. Other than private messaging, people love to use Telegram for group chats — up to 200,000 people can meet inside a Telegram chat room. That seems problematic.”
That particular reporter noted how wonderful it had been that Black Lives Matter protests had been able to be organized on these platforms without police monitoring them, but of course if it meant that other people could organize events without said police monitoring them, it was a bad thing.

Greenwald also notes that while YouTube and others have banned content claiming election fraud in 2020, they are quite happy to host claims that the the 2000, 2004 and 2016 elections were stolen. The thumb on the scale could not be more apparent.
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Old 24th February 2021, 06:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
You might have to be more specific on this one. There is a common misconception that organizations like FOX news must classify themselves in some way with some official body as "news" vs "entertainment" and that this affects their legal exposure. I'm pretty sure that is not the case at all.
They're not classified under those particular words anywhere, but in terms of, for instance, defamation suits, it does become relevant whether media represents itself as truthful and informative vs mere entertainment and opinion.

It came up in Alex Jones' legal troubles and he had to claim he was merely entertaining. It came up in Tucker Carlson's defamation suit.

There's no checkbox on a form that creates a classification, but they do rely on the distinction when legally challenged.
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Old 24th February 2021, 06:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post

Greenwald also notes that while YouTube and others have banned content claiming election fraud in 2020, they are quite happy to host claims that the the 2000, 2004 and 2016 elections were stolen. The thumb on the scale could not be more apparent.
It is as if the claims that fueled the storming the capital are treated differently from the ones that didn't.
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Old 24th February 2021, 06:57 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It is as if the claims that fueled the storming the capital are treated differently from the ones that didn't.
That is certainly true for Facebook.

https://news.yahoo.com/mark-zuckerbe...l?guccounter=1
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Old 24th February 2021, 08:08 AM   #26
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
I don't think it's as much a "right" and "left" issue as it is a news and fact issue.
Nonsense you have facts and alternate facts now, you can't censor speech merely by trifles like fact vs alternate fact.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:09 AM   #27
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Good grief, what has become of our forum.

Even a cursory examination of the link in the OP should make it clear that these letters (actually multiple copies of the same letter- sent to different cable and streaming companies like Comcast, Cox, Hulu, and Alphabet) are not addressing channels that are producing content, instead are addressing the groups that these channels broadcast on.

The distinction should be clear.
Imagine it as a letter to a bookseller, asking why the store allows (among all its's other material) books by Rush Limbaugh/Noam Chomsky to be sold in its' store. Combined with the tone of "it's a nice little store you have here, shame if anything should happen to it...". And signed by two members of the United States Congress.

The willingness of so many to cheer on such overreach- as long as it is reaching in a direction they think is "just"- is disheartening, and something that would have been mocked mercilessly on this Forum years ago.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:16 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
social media is a bulk of the OP
Social media was the background events that have led up to this action by some members of congress.

Social media has already taken action against "disinformation" of selective types, in response to pressure from congress.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Combined with the tone of "it's a nice little store you have here, shame if anything should happen to it...". And signed by two members of the United States Congress.
In the mafia context, the threat is seen through the means, the opportunity and the history of particular consequences.

In the context of congress, what are the consequences you believe the letter is threatening, specifically?

Generally, although the mafia verison of the sort of threat you're implying uses a level of deniability in the language, the communication is done in private. The aim of the communication is to convey the threat.

In this case, the letters were very public. It would seem odd to me for them to make a very public letter with a secretly implied threat.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Social media was the background events that have led up to this action by some members of congress.

Social media has already taken action against "disinformation" of selective types, in response to pressure from congress.
Yes I did comment on that, thank you.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:33 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Social media was the background events that have led up to this action by some members of congress.

Social media has already taken action against "disinformation" of selective types, in response to pressure from congress.
Precisely what pressure from Congress caused the action taken against Covid disinformation? And no, scare quotes aren't needed when we're talking about stuff like 'Covid is a hoax' or 'we have 6 Hunter Biden laptops with child porn'. Those are straight up disinformation campaigns aimed at the clueless.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Good grief, what has become of our forum.

Even a cursory examination of the link in the OP should make it clear that these letters (actually multiple copies of the same letter- sent to different cable and streaming companies like Comcast, Cox, Hulu, and Alphabet) are not addressing channels that are producing content, instead are addressing the groups that these channels broadcast on.

The distinction should be clear.
Imagine it as a letter to a bookseller, asking why the store allows (among all its's other material) books by Rush Limbaugh/Noam Chomsky to be sold in its' store. Combined with the tone of "it's a nice little store you have here, shame if anything should happen to it...". And signed by two members of the United States Congress.

The willingness of so many to cheer on such overreach- as long as it is reaching in a direction they think is "just"- is disheartening, and something that would have been mocked mercilessly on this Forum years ago.
I am surprised and appalled at how sanguinely this is being received here at ISF.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:37 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Yup. I don't see why they should be held to less stringent standards than advertising. You can't lie in an ad and then call it "entertainment" (or "your first amendment right", for that matter).
Actually, you can. It's not that uncommon. For example, "Red Bull gives you wings".
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:38 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I am surprised and appalled at how sanguinely this is being received here at ISF.
I'm not. If you thought that most people here really believed in free speech, then you haven't been paying attention.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:43 AM   #35
wareyin
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I am surprised and appalled at how sanguinely this is being received here at ISF.
I read the first couple of letters. It appears that your link is to a form letter sent out to several platforms asking about their policy of dealing with their channels/content providers and the platform policies of dealing with the spread of disinformation by those platforms. Apparently, the idea that Congress would like to know these things is, especially after a deadly pandemic exacerbated by and a deadly riot caused by that disinformation, is supposed to be scary? Why?

Should we as Americans do nothing to limit the spread of falsehoods causing death and destruction? Or is your position that the right to lie is more important than the right of those killed have to live?
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:48 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
In the mafia context, the threat is seen through the means, the opportunity and the history of particular consequences.

In the context of congress, what are the consequences you believe the letter is threatening, specifically?

Generally, although the mafia verison of the sort of threat you're implying uses a level of deniability in the language, the communication is done in private. The aim of the communication is to convey the threat.

In this case, the letters were very public. It would seem odd to me for them to make a very public letter with a secretly implied threat.
1. What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity,
violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which
channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?
2. Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any
content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.
3. How many of your subscribers tuned in to Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on Fios TV
for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6,
2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of subscribers that tuned in to
each channel.
4. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and
the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of
disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your
company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took
and when it was taken.
5. Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax,
and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or
indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or
COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and
the parties involved.
6. Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate
any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken.
7. Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on Fios TV
both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?


Are the carriers to whom the letters were sent obligated in any way to perform the actions asked about in the letter?
Is a bookstore obligated to vet the veracity of every book it sells?

The answers to those questions have been self-evident for so long that asking them officially indicates a pretty strong desire on behalf of the members of Congress listed to change that policy. That can reasonably be seen as a threat.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:49 AM   #37
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
Should we as Americans do nothing to limit the spread of falsehoods causing death and destruction? Or is your position that the right to lie is more important than the right of those killed have to live?
Your question is disingenuous, since the causal connection between these is weak. The actual question is whether my right to lie is more important than your right to prevent me from lying.

And the answer is yes, it is. Because if we're being honest, if you get the right to stop me from lying, you'll also have the power to stop me from telling the truth.
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Old 24th February 2021, 09:53 AM   #38
Distracted1
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Originally Posted by wareyin View Post
I read the first couple of letters. It appears that your link is to a form letter sent out to several platforms asking about their policy of dealing with their channels/content providers and the platform policies of dealing with the spread of disinformation by those platforms. Apparently, the idea that Congress would like to know these things is, especially after a deadly pandemic exacerbated by and a deadly riot caused by that disinformation, is supposed to be scary? Why?

Should we as Americans do nothing to limit the spread of falsehoods causing death and destruction? Or is your position that the right to lie is more important than the right of those killed have to live?
If a publication prints something libelous, it is a duty of the Gov to pursue that publication, not the magazine shop that offers it along with other publications.

That has been pretty clearly established for decades- if not centuries- in the U.S.

Threatening the seller is extortion- not justice.
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Old 24th February 2021, 10:00 AM   #39
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Quote:
The answers to those questions have been self-evident for so long that asking them officially indicates a pretty strong desire on behalf of the members of Congress listed to change that policy. That can reasonably be seen as a threat.
I'm not following you here.

A strong desire that policies be changed = a threat?

What specifically is the threat being made? What is it being implied that they will do if those policies are not changed?

How is this different from any other strong dissapproval expressed by members of congress?

A threat requires... a thing you're threatening to do. What is that thing?
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Old 24th February 2021, 10:10 AM   #40
wareyin
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Your question is disingenuous, since the causal connection between these is weak. The actual question is whether my right to lie is more important than your right to prevent me from lying.

And the answer is yes, it is. Because if we're being honest, if you get the right to stop me from lying, you'll also have the power to stop me from telling the truth.
The causal connection between spreading falsehoods about Covid and more deaths from Covid is weak? Are you certain about that?

And I do appreciate the admission that to you the right to lie is paramount, although that has been apparent for some time. Legally however, the right to lie is not actually as powerful as you seem to think. You've previously been in favor of penalties for perjury, until they applied to your side that is, so you know that lies are not always the best thing. In addition to perjury, we have laws against slander and defamation. In fact, OANN and Fox are both in hot water of just those lies, and are retracting and firing hosts over them.
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